How to stop hawks for 30 cents

By BYCforlife · Sep 13, 2017 · ·
  1. BYCforlife
    I have seen many people talking about hawk problems. I recommend baler twine strung over the top of the run, but I never get any replies. I assume that people think, "Ha! The hawks can just dive through the holes."

    Not so. Have you seen hawks when they land? They spread their wings out to keep from hitting the ground. Baler twine is usually orange, or blue. The hawk can see it, and knows it can't spread its wings properly to land in the run.

    Here are my two methods of putting up baler twine:

    This method is cleaner, because it only attaches to the posts, not the chicken wire.

    This method is messier, because the string pulls on the wire. This, however, allows you to have smaller openings.

    I tried this because I lost a hen to a hawk. After that, I knew the hawk would come back until my chickens were all gone. My rooster was also a coward.
    After I set the twine up, I sat in the run petting some of my chickens. On the other side of the coop, I saw the shadow of a hawk as it swooped down. The chickens panicked, and one even jumped into my lap. All of my chickens were okay. The hawk was deterred, and my test was successful.

    This method is extremely cheap, and works very well for me. I hope you'll try it before buying netting or wire mesh, because it works very well!

    Thank you for reading.


    I recently had a chicken die to unknown causes. I posted on BYC asking what people thought it was, and everybody said Hawk. After thinking about it for a while, and watching constantly for hawks, I think it died from sickness, not a hawk. I haven't seen a hawk for months, and there have been no more dead of injured chickens.

    The only problem I have with the baler twine is when you get a ton of freezing rain. It made the baler twine sag, so I had to go out and break the ice off. Other than that, I have had no problems.

    BYC Predators and Pests Forum

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Recent User Reviews

  1. FluffTheDuck
    "Simple and inexpensive!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 10, 2019
    A simple and inexpensive way to stop hawks from killing your flock.

    Thanks Cal!
    BYCforlife likes this.
    1. BYCforlife
      Thanks for the review!
  2. HuffleClaw
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 12, 2018
    Thank you, this is a very good idea!
  3. ronott1
    "Good Article!"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Sep 10, 2018
    An update going into year two would be helpful
    BYCforlife likes this.
    1. BYCforlife
      Thank you! What are some things you would like to see updated, besides my casualty (or lack thereof) numbers?


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  1. Kates Chooks
    I have done this as a base layer, and then used deer fence mesh over that. If you string the heavy yarn, twine or whatever very tight, it keeps the deer fence from sagging. I used an orange heavy yarn. You are thinking it will rot but it's been there a year and no problems. I wonder maybe it's wool cause it's holding up very well. I really love deer fence netting cause it is so strong, so light, so inexpensive and lasts for years. Makes a good extra protection if you are putting out very young chicks in a coop with a wire run for the first time, they may be small enough to squeeze through the welded wire fence but the deer netting attached with zip ties solves that problem. Put it on the OUTside of the wire fence, to avoid possible entanglement, although I have never had a chick get stuck like that.
      BYCforlife likes this.
  2. Flame
    Sounds good to me. I have deer netting over the majority of my run and have shelter for them to get to. I've lost a few to goshawks. Sometimes I feel like the crows will warn my chickens too when predators are around. Keep us updated on the baler twine. Free to cheap solutions are my favourite!
      BYCforlife likes this.
  3. EggWalrus
    Thank God it worked that time, during the test. The hawk could have got you instead of a chicken.
      BYCforlife likes this.
  4. sue5050
    this is great for large areas, but I need to protect against racoons and other predators that can climb a fence.
      BYCforlife likes this.
    1. BYCforlife
      I would consider electric fencing before building a permanent covering for the top of your run. It's good to have 2 strands: one close to the ground to prevent digging, and one a little farther up so the animals can't jump over it and keep climbing.
  5. Eelantha
    I've lost a hen to a hawk, have been looking up and down the Internet for weeks for a hardwire solution that would keep one out in the future without leaving the run roof a complicated mess to undo at fall due to upcoming winter storms, and I find this.

    ... You, my friend, have just proven that the simplest things are often the most useful and practical ones. I'm definitely noting your idea down for future use. Now I just have to convince the rest of my family that using these baler twines work just as well as putting hardware netting all over the run. I sense a few laughs coming xD

    Does normal string work, so long as it is red and flashy?
      BYCforlife likes this.
    1. BYCforlife
      Sorry it took me so long to reply! I haven't been active lately.

      Normal string would work just as well, because there will be no weight on it.
  6. Kenny_
    Super clever!
  7. Robin37
    Your method is tried and true so that's good enough for me :)
  8. artistazalea
    I'm going to try this if Hawks become our pest problem...right now it's racoons. :(
      Mamahenning10 and BYCforlife like this.
    1. BYCforlife
      That's really too bad! I don't have raccoons where I live, but I can imagine what problems they can make. I hope everything works out for you! :)
      Robin37 and Better Than Rubies like this.

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